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Local News

  • Cops, residents grow more estranged

    In the wake of the April 28 Taser incident on Dock Street, police admit that residents are talking amongst themselves. They for their part, are waiting to see if complaints roll in.

    Since the night two weeks ago when area fisherman Danny Beckham was subdued with a Taser in an altercation about a friend's traffic stop, police chief Bubba Castell says he has waited for phone calls and complaints about his officers, but so far has received none.

    No formal ones, anyway.

  • District thanks McCain for 30 years of service

    Cedar Key Water and Sewer District Superintendent James McCain recently celebrated 30 years of service for that organization. In honor of his distinguished service, past and current Water District board members and employees gathered at the district office to fête McCain with punch and doughnuts and a collection of anecdotes detailing his dedicated work and excellent character.

  • Stun incident appalls locals

    Cedar Key residents say police are out of control. Police say the most recent polarizing incident started over a misunderstanding. But the outcome leaves police and citizens on either side of a widening divide.

    On April 28, Cedar Key fisherman Danny Beckham, who resides in Archer, was drive-stunned repeatedly with a Taser following a vociferous dispute with police over his double-parked vehicle. Beckham was charged with resisting arrest without violence and obstruction, and also with resisting arrest with violence.

  • Skarupski withdraws, endorses Davis

    On Tuesday, City Commission candidates Heath Davis and Bryan Skarupski called a press conference to announce their positions in the upcoming election. Davis is the former commissioner who did not seek reelection last spring when his term expired. Skarupski, opposing him for the vacant seat left by Commissioner Vanessa Edmunds, who also decided not to seek reelection, has never held a commission seat before.

  • Election Day looms: Two city commission seats and one water district seat at stake

    Cedar Key will go to the polls Tuesday, May 6 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. City Hall, located at Second and C Streets, will be the polling location. The Cedar Key Beacon asked candidates to respond to the questions below so that voters and citizens may gain a more complete view of the commission.

  • Why race: Looking LARC in the face

    Paul Roesch used to work at McDonald's in Williston, but he struggled there. Going out to tidy up in the dining room, he wasn't sure when to stop wiping one table so he could move on to the next.

    James O'Sullivan wants to work at Hitchcock's, bagging groceries and rounding up carts. So far, though, the only shift that's open is in the evening, and he and his mother prefer that he work during the day.

    David Estep has a talent for folding clothes perfectly.

  • Next level: Beckham headed to GHS

    Bronson Eagles’ head basketball coach Kelly Beckham announced Thursday that he will leave Bronson Middle-High School, where he has been for nearly 25 years and more than 500 wins, for Gainesville High School.

    Beckham will finish out the school year at Bronson, and start at GHS in the new school year.

    His academic duties at GHS will be largely similar to those at Bronson — he will be a Dean of Students. What will change the most is the basketball. 5A GHS has about 2,000 students; Bronson, in class 2A, has 453 or fewer.

  • Sunny smiles for Arts Festival

    The 44th Annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts in Cedar Key got a break from the weather and welcomed delighted crowds once again.

    Anecdotal reports had crowd counts slightly below last year's monster turnout, but given the conflicts of UF spring football, the threat of inclement weather and the trying economy, attendance was very good.

    Food vendors in City Park reported sellout or near-sellout sales, as visitors elbowed their way down 2nd Street toward the grassy play area.

  • Arts Festival weekend: Letitia Lee's art shows electric life

    "There was never a time when I wasn't making art."

    Letitia Lee says she's been doing art professionally for five years, but she's been an artist "since my mom first fed me applesauce."

    The Hampton, Va. Native says she drew, sketched or painted at every opportunity growing up, using whatever tools were available with her family's limited budget. That method hasn't changed - in fact, Lee says she often lets her mood dictate the medium and theme of her work.

  • Arts Festival weekend: Palm flowers make Jean Yao's art bloom

    "First you should find something you really like to do. Then later you should work to refine your technique."

    Fiber weaving artist Jean Yao tells young artists that the most important thing they can do is find a form or expression they love to work with. Once they find something they love, they'll find a way to get good at the execution.

    Yao, born in Taiwan and trained in Japan in the art of ikebana - flower arranging - says she came to her present media of weaving palm fiber baskets out of the necessity of finding a medium she could work in.